Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday's Top Ten Plus Ten [Favorite Meals]

I'm going to share my families favorite meals, not just mine. To have more than one person like a meal says a lot about that meal. These 10 meals are a go-to when I meal plan (which is quite extensive - here is an example of how I plan meals for 4 weeks with a once a month shopping trip).

Melany, I'm sure has many tasty meals on her list that will inspire you as well. Her mom is a wonderful cook (MUCH better than myself). You will regret skipping her list, I can promise you that.
 1. Shepard's Pie - This meal is so easy and so incredibly yummy that we eat it at the end of our 4 weeks every month. The ingredients are easy to store and you can throw in about anything.

What we put in it:
1 pound of ground beef
1 garlic clove
1/2 small/med. onion
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 cans green beans
5-6 medium potatoes
cheddar cheese

How we prepare it:
Thoroughly cook your ground beef with garlic and onion (salt & pepper to taste). Once cooked, add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Transfer mixture into an oven safe 13x9 pan. Layer meat/tomato sauce with green beans, then mashed potatoes. Top with cheddar cheese. Put in oven at 350 for 8-10 minutes (or until cheese is melted).

I've had friends add bar-b-que or Worcestershire sauce to the meat/tomato mixture and that adds a bit of yummy flavor as well. I've also seen it with corn instead of green beans... the options here are limitless!

2. Pizza - I need to expound on this one. We buy the cheese pizza's from the deli section at Wal-Mart and fill it with our own yummy ingredients. This is an every Sunday evening tradition in our house. They're giant and decently priced. Our favorite combination is a can of artichoke hearts, tomato, and chicken OR hamburger, onion and mushrooms (our 2 year old daughter LOVES mushrooms). We've added green pepper to both of those combo's and like that addition as well. Limitless options make it difficult to get tired of this meal every week. Also, we typically top it with extra cheese.

3. Taco Salad - Tortilla chips, black beans, taco flavored ground beef, lettuce, tomato, avocado, onion, sour cream, salsa, cheddar cheese... oh my word... listing all that made my mouth water.

4. Chicken Broccoli Alfredo is actually a personal favorite that my husband eats because he knows I like it so much. My two year old daughter LOVES broccoli and noodles, so this is a meal she enjoys almost as much as myself. Plus I always remember Megan, my roomie and BFF from college. We enjoyed making this meal together many times over the course of our friendship, it's a shared favorite.

5. Kielbasa sausage, Zataran's red beans and rice, with corn bread is a favorite meal thanks to Lori, Melany's mom. It's so easy and my family loves Cajun. Especially Bean who can't get enough of the sausage. We recently came across this variation, which we also fell in love with and will definitely become one of our favorite meals: Kielbasa, Pepper, Onion and Potato Hash
How yummy does that look?
The following meals are a few of my most recent favs. Not sure if it's because I'm prego or because these comfort foods go well with the winter season or if it's because I actually do enjoy them. I'm a good judge of nothing while pregnant...

6. Beef Stroganoff - Last time we had it we nabbed some sirloin steak instead of the cube steak and it was fantastic. I cooked it in the crockpot on low for 5-6 hours with a can of golden mushroom soup, a can of mushrooms, 1 chopped onion, 1 tbsp of Worcestershire, and 1 can of beef broth. About a half hour before serving I threw in 4 oz of cream cheese and a 1/2 cup of sour cream. Served over egg noodles with a vegetable and it equals one heck of a yummy meal.

7. Chicken Noodle Soup over mashed potatoes (Melany and her family refer to this one as Starch-a-Palooza which is way more fun than my boring name.) is a wonderful comfort meal (include a fresh piece of bread) especially on those cold snowy days and most especially on a family sick day. An interesting tid-bit of information for this meal in particular is that the University of Nebraska conducted a scientific study where "They concluded that chicken soup with a variety of veggies may contain substances that function as an anti-inflammatory mechanism and potentially ease the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections, including congestion, stuffy nose, cough, and sore throat." (source and another source just for good measure) Those findings simply add one more reason to keep it as one of my favorites!

While I'm on a soup kick...

8. This recipe for Chicken and Dumplings (YUM.) And it's so easy (I'm all about easy). Side note: I took this recipe to a soup potluck at church and it did not last long. I didn't even get to take the scrapings off the side of the crockpot home, I imagine someone licked it clean.

9. Beef Stew (My sister has this Beer Beef Stew recipe that she needs to share. I had it once and I can't stop thinking about it.)

10. Chili is also a family favorite (sorry my prego brain got a little side tracked over this food topic). We love it over baked potatoes, sour cream and cheddar cheese with cinnamon rolls. Recently my genius husband wanted to try sweet potatoes and I am SO SO SO glad we did. There's something about that sweet and spicy flavor mix that made us want to add it to our favs list...

I think we need to do this list again come summer time because my favorite meals list is heavy on the "warm and comfortable" side. We're publishing this on a warm 70+ degree January day, which is abnormal for where we live, but soup is still a favorite during this time of year; even on a strangely warm day like today....

Enjoy today's list! I hope it gives you some fresh ideas for your next meal planning endeavor. 

1 comment:

  1. Chicken broccoli alfredo is a favorite here too! I've started using different kinds of noodles and the girls eat it up!